It’s been an amazing year here in Hailey, Idaho highlighted by several trips to reconnect with family and friends. We climbed, hiked and camped. We brewed, learned and explored. We found an awesome house, and met amazing people. In a way it was no surprise really. Idaho attracts and retains great people. It’s with mixed emotions that we set out on a new adventure, but we have never looked back on one of these moments with regret. After spending the last 5 years focused on avalanche forecasting I have finally been given an opportunity to make my passion a paid profession. In a complex web of events, I recently accepted a job as an Avalanche Forecaster at the Crested Butte Avalanche Center in Crested Butte, Colorado! To round out the work for the season, I will also be spot guiding and teaching for Crested Butte Mountain Guides.
We have never been to Crested Butte, but by all accounts it appears we will be living in a postcard. The place looks beautiful, and perched at 8,800 ft in the center of the Rockies, it offers four distinct seasons and plenty of new places to explore.
Here is a cool video from a local film crew out testing their new camera. They simply drove around the area for the day and captured some amazing scenes in and around Crested Butte.
The transition to Crested Butte will happen in a flash. The general hiring for forecasters this year was greatly slowed by the government shutdown and the ripple effect through the community has been that of a stutter-start. So in an accelerated fashion I was offered the position last Thursday, and in just two weeks I will be living in the bus and attending training sessions and fundraisers for my new positions in Crested Butte! If you are anywhere between here, Salt Lake City and Crested Butte and want to catch me, I will be moving through shortly after Thanksgiving. My mom and Robyn will follow the same route in mid December, and by the time they get there I will have hopefully nailed down a place for us to stay the winter.
The prospect of working in the mountains again is seriously energizing and I can’t wait to dig in. After teaching an avalanche awareness class with Blase and JP last winter I knew I couldn’t ignore it. The satisfaction, passion and pride I felt as an instructor was worth more than the modest pay at the end of the day. Worth even more than that were the smiles and handshakes of people, thankful for a great class even months after it had ended. While leaving Idaho won’t be easy, it will always be home. And as for now, opportunity is knocking and adventure calls, and we’re listening.